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Be innovative when planning your amazing stand design for trade show events!
There is no doubt that the realm of trade show stand design has progressed incredibly over the past couple of decades. Years ago, flashy signage and a few large screen TVs showing a video loop promoting your brand would have resulted in mesmerised attendees coming to your stand in droves. Today, such a stand is par for the course that is unlikely to warrant a second glance from the overstimulated masses. To truly stand out at your next trade show, you’ll need to be uniquely memorable. It takes some work, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating one of the best trade show stands at your next trade show!
Start Planning and Promoting Well Before The Show
It is a credo imperative to success at any trade show or event: plan, prepare, promote. Coming up with fantastic, innovative ideas is an excellent start, but it doesn’t ensure the desired results. After coming up with your one-of-a-kind concept, there’s still a lot of work to do! First, become intimately familiar with your allotted stand space – its location, its dimensions and its surroundings (e.g. outlet positioning, pillars etc.). This will significantly affect trade show stand setup. After your layout is planned, begin ‘dry runs’ of your stand to whatever degree possible. You won’t always have all (or even any) of your trade show equipment and major components until they are delivered to the show – you can still use mockups to get a feel for your proposed layout. Ensure when trade show time comes you are loaded in and set up as early as possible in order to run a full ‘dress rehearsal’ and discover the nearly inevitable unexpected challenges. Finally, use social media to create excitement and position your stand as a ‘must visit’ destination. Without spoiling any big surprises, drop some hints that pique attention.
Today, your potential customers no longer want to simply be told what your brand can offer them. They want to experience it. That’s why every stand should have some kind of interactive aspect creating an experience the attendee can enjoy – and be left craving more of. It is, of course, best if the interactive experience can be the experience of using your product. At the 2017 Australian Gaming Expo, Grand Stand Events created a stand for gaming giant Konami that went far beyond displaying their products. We re-created a casino floor, showcasing their next-gen gaming machines that visitors were able to enjoy. If your physical product doesn’t lend itself to interactive use, don’t despair. Selling eco-friendly pesticide? Commission a VR gaming experience where the attendees can ‘Save The Farm’. Think outside the box!
Make Your Stand Its Own World
While the focus is on promoting your product or brand, some of the most innovative and successful stands first attract attendees because the stand itself is an unmissable, themed escape. This award-winning booth by Dersé for example, provided a calming, isolated escape from the chaos of the trade show outside while promoting the brand on the colour-themed LED walls.
We may pretend to grow out of it, but it’s a lifelong human reaction – big is cool. You’ll need to hit the other innovative trade show stand tips to keep them, but large –and we do mean large – products or displays are a great tool for attracting attendees. When creating stands for our longtime clients IVECO Trucks Australia, we use their behemoth products not just as an informational product display but as an attraction point as well. Even if your product itself isn’t that large, think of a way to incorporate super-sized objects into your display. Dana provides automotive driveline parts like driveshafts and axles. However, alongside these products, we used a 70 series Landcruiser outfitted with their parts as the centrepiece.
While memories are all well and good, people are more interested in that photo opportunity that’s going to up their likes. It’s no longer just millennials either – the COO of that potential B2B partner is on the search for that picture that will light up his Instagram as well. Those views, likes and most importantly, tags are virtual currency, and you definitely want a piece of it. While many of the previous tips help here, think of specific ideas that, while on brand, are a surefire photo or video opp. At the All Energy Australia Exhibition, our client Solar Juice incorporated dancers dressed in full L.E.D. suits for their networking event. Not only were their dance routines a hit, but attendees clamoured to have pictures taken with them offstage as well. Note that these bits of flair are not likely to increase meaningful customer connection – but are an excellent way to spread the name of your brand.
Enlist The Help Of Proven Trade Show Stand Builders
A common mistake made by inexperienced exhibitors is using general tradesmen or other non-industry personnel as trade show booth builders. While there is no doubt there are extremely talented general craftsmen who can bring your innovative idea to life, they will not be aware of the specific considerations that need be taken into account when building a trade show stand and its components. Planning to ‘fly’ (suspend using rigging) part of your stand? There are very specific guidelines that must be followed to meet regulations that an experienced trade show stand builder like Grand Stand Events are familiar with. Further, as trade show stand specialists we are familiar with the most popular venues and include as part of our job site visits to those we do not know intimately. This allows us to prevent you from spending large amounts on a brilliant, high tech stand only to discover it cannot be used at a certain trade show – and to help you modify your initial idea to keep the innovative concept alive and usable.
Some Hard and Fast Rules To Remember
A unique and innovative display is perhaps the number one tool for attracting trade show attendees to your stand. However, a mistake often made is concentrating so much on creating a ‘wild and unforgettable’ stand that the main objective is forgotten – properly promoting the brand and generating real customer interest that ends in a generation of revenue. To prevent any such loss of focus, here are some tips to remember.
- Shout What You Do From The Rooftops – Yes, you and your team know what service and product you offer. And yes, it’s a trade show for a particular industry. But what EXACTLY does your brand offer? Assume every attendee has just wandered in off the street and has no idea what trade show they’re at, much less what you do. Make sure this is immediately clear.
- Stay On-Brand Throughout – From your trade show stand banners down to the bean bag chair in the corner, ensure you are always on brand. This doesn’t just mean adding your logo – if your logo colours are orange and green, then every chair, kiosk and piece of swag should match this as well. Give delegates the “WHY” why do you do what you do, not just the what. Delegates more and more want to understand the why, make sure this includes your value proposition(s).
- Be Sure You Are Always On Message – Yes, you want to make sure your stand is all over Instagram, and a unique ‘stunt’ can make you the talk of the trade show. But these must still be on brand. A waste management company once partnered with a local zoo to bring two penguins to a trade show. Did it cause a stir? Absolutely. Did anyone remember the company? Absolutely not. However, had it been an air conditioning company that had branded parkers on hand for you to wear while taking pictures with the penguins – you can bet their business would have seen a considerable boost.
- Design A Stand Attendees Are Part Of – Trade show stands that box attendees out or require them to sit and immediately pitched are a thing of the past. Instead, let them feel comfortable browsing all you have to offer. Make your lounges and amenities (charging stations, free branded water cooler) a no-strings-attached, pitch-free-zone affair. However with some strategically placed pamphlets and clever additions like a tablet showing other people enjoying your innovative offerings and happily chatting with representatives, they’ll come to you.
With a wealth of experience, proven methodologies and partnerships with the industry’s most skilled suppliers, designers and builders, Grand Stand Events can help you bring your most ambitious trade show stand ideas to life. Contact us today and let us help you create a trade booth design that will turn your investment into a lucrative new client base.